Teddy's star turn as he lands part in Sky's Christmas film
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
A DISABLED youngster from Woodland has made his big screen debut acting in Sky Cinema’s festive film offering, A Christmas Number One.
Nine-year-old Teddy Berriman landed a part in the musical comedy, which mixes romance, boybands and thrash metal, earlier in the year after auditioning by Zoom. Teddy spent five days filming his role in London over the summer, accompanied by his mum Nicola Short, staying over in hotels.
She said: “We went down five times over three months. When we went down the first time for rehearsal the director, Chris Cottam, took us aside and said he’d picked Teddy for the role. He even said this could be for the start of great things for him.”
Teddy was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disorder called spastic quadriplegia aged two and also suffers from three types of epilepsy, autism and is partially sighted. Four years ago Teddy was signed up by Zebedee Management, a modelling agency specialising in representing people with disabilities.
Since then, he has starred in a TV advert for H&M, modelled for Marks & Spencer and River Island, and took part in a shoot with Tommy Hilfiger.
He also starred in a new CBeebies children’s show, Kit and Pup.
His latest star turn, as Ashley, saw him alongside lead actor Iwan Pheon, of Game of Thrones, who played heavy metal musician Blake Cutter. In the film, which follows the tradition of trying to get to the top of the charts at Christmas, Teddy plays a boy in a choir.
“My favourite bit was being sick on Blake’s shoes,” said Teddy, who features in three scenes and joins in the singing.
Ms Short added: “We
couldn’t all mix together on the film set as we were in bubbles. All the actors had a green room area, the rest of the crew had another and the bands had their own area.
“The crew were all great with Teddy and understanding. It was difficult sometimes when things had to change at the last moment as they’ve never worked with someone like Teddy who has complex needs.
“The reward for us is the self-esteem boost it gives to Teddy and it really builds his confidence.”
Teddy was reunited with cast and crew last month when he attended the film’s premiere at the Prince Charles Cinema, in London’s Leicester Square, accompanied by his mum and dad, Phillip Berriman.
Ms Short added: “It was really weird. We walking up to the theatre and there were all these stars and film people.
“When we got there everybody turned around said there’s Teddy and started photographing. It’s probably really normal for all of them but it was quite strange for us.”
Christmas Number One is on Sky Cinema and Now TV and includes an international cast including Freida Pinto, Helen Zengal and singer Alfie Boe.